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                                                    e-Newsletter Vol. 34

In This Issue
2014 Census Results
Loon Rescues

Upcoming Events

October 16; 7 pm

November 29; 
10 am - 2 pm
Support LPC While You Shop Online
What's that call?
Have you ever wondered what the different loon vocalizations mean?
Growing Up!

Photos by Kittie Wilson
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Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254
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Thanks to all of our volunteers who came to the end of season potlucks.  It was a great time to share stories, meet new friends and hear preliminary results from the 2014 season.

Volunteers enjoying a potluck dinner on the porch at The Loon Center.  

Overall it was a pretty good year for loons in NH with a total of 209 nesting pairs in the state.  This is a 16% increase in the number of nesting pairs from 2013.  As a result, approximately 197 chicks hatched this year but only 147 are surviving.  More than half of the hatched chicks came from nest sites protected by signs and ropelines and nearly all of the nesting pairs benefited from LPC's intensive management whether it was a raft, signs, or outreach to dam operators regarding water levels.  

Seacoast field biologist Tim Demers is checking the buoyancy of an unhatched loon egg.

After attending a presentation in Meredith this summer and hearing about two girls who sold lemonade to raise money for LPC, the girls below decided to give it a try themselves. They spent the morning of July 27 at the boat launch on Lake Waukewan where they handed out LPC brochures, non-lead fishing tackle and sold lemonade.  They ended up raising a total of $79.40 for loon conservation.  A very special thank you to Meredith, Nicole, Grace, and Sarah (Sarah not pictured)!

It's not too early to start thinking about your holiday plans. LPC's 22nd annual Holiday Open House is on Saturday, November 29 from 10 am - 2 pm.  Don't forget that raffle tickets are still available.  Take a chance to win one of these great items and support loons in NH at the same time!  The drawing will be held during the Holiday Open House. 

LPC staff has been busy lately with loon rescues.  Click here or scroll down to read more.  It's a good reminder to everyone to reel in around loons, retrieve discarded fishing line, and use only non-lead fishing tackle.  

All the best,


Another Record Turnout for the Loon Census

This year, 626 observers covered 133 of New Hampshire's lakes during the annual count on July 19th.  This represents the biggest turnout in at least the last eight years!  More than forty new participants came out for the morning count, and for one seasoned census volunteer on Silver Lake in Harrisville, this marked her 34th year!  On Swain's Lake in Barrington, the census has even become a family tradition with the 4th generation participating this year! 

Volunteer Mike Krebs captured this great shot of the adults feeding their chick during the loon census on Crystal Lake in Gilmanton.

A total of 549 adult loons were tallied, 12 immature loons and 91 loon chicks.  The number of adult loons and loon chicks counted were higher this year.  This tally may be in part because we had 30 more observers this year. Vermont, Maine and New York also conduct a loon census on the same day.  We'll make sure to share their results when we receive them.  This event is a great way to get people involved and to generate more interest about loons.


The census results are rolled into our season-long monitoring so please see our upcoming fall newsletter for a detailed recap of the 2014 season.  Thanks again to everyone who participated this year! 


FallRescues2014A Busy Week for Loon Rescues

The end of August and early September have been quite busy with loon rescues,  In fact, there were three tangled loons in one week!
Beached loon on Lake Sunapee with fishing line tangled around its bill.  Photo courtesy of Kris McAllister.
The first call came in on August 27 about a beached loon in Herrick Cove on Lake Sunapee.  LPC staff and volunteers in the area attempted to capture the loon within an hour, but the loon continued to dive and would not let them get close enough to catch it.  Later that day after being monitored by Diane Laughlin and staff from the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA), the loon was captured by lake residents Mary Howe & Larry Jodoin.  

Here's a recap of the rescue written by Diane who saw and reported the beached loon:

"Many times while sailing or kayaking on lovely Lake Sunapee I've had the privilege and luck to see many a loon, trying to guess where he or she would emerge after a dive.  Last week was different.  I was out kayaking on a cool August afternoon and the loon I saw was barely moving, staying close to the shore and appearing to deliberately keep its head submerged in the water.  I slowly approached the loon but it did not react.  My concern grew as I followed it into a small inlet where it let me get unusually close. I kayaked back to shore to retrieve my phone and call the local police.  They said they would call the Loon Preservation Committee and get back to me.  I returned to the loon and waited and watched."
Photo of adult loon with fishing line tangled around its bill.  
Photo courtesy of Diane Laughlin.
"Mary Howe, a friend of a friend, stopped by on her way back from running errands to see if the loon was still there. Amazingly, the loon was very close to the dock by then.  Mary approached cautiously and saw that indeed there was fishing line wrapped around the loon's bill.  Luckily, across the street from the dock live Larry Jodoin and his wife Sue who had just come home and saw what was going on. Mary bravely grabbed the loon, cradling it gently but firmly.  Larry started his surgery with his pocketknife {he had been an army medic in Vietnam}, tenderly cutting the line from the bill and then opened the bill to discover that there was monofilament line wrapped around the loon's tongue.  He was able to remove it, but the loon's tongue looked quite swollen.  
Fishing line removed from a loon's bill on Lake Sunapee in late August.  Photo taken by Diane Laughlin.
Larry couldn't see any other issues inside the loon's mouth so Mary gingerly put the loon back in the lake and the loon slowly swam away.  Larry says it was the most beautiful sight to see as the loon took a drink, lifted its head up high and then reached back to preen its feathers.  We were all overjoyed and felt the loon could now eat, and with time would recover.  I called LPC and we agreed that we would try to find the loon the following day and see how it was doing. We were very optimistic.

The next day I had to work but received a couple of calls and texts saying the loon was nowhere to be seen.  We felt this was a good sign.  After work I decided to kayak out to where I had last seen the loon but it was nowhere to be found.  I kayaked around the shoreline of the cove and as I was rounding the bend, I saw the loon.  It was right up by the shore and it wasn't reacting to me as I slowly paddled in.  I moved in closer to the shore and I watched as the loon flinched then dropped its head way back onto its body. One more quick jolt and its head was back in the water. My friend, Pam, made her way down to where the bird was and got within arm's length but there was no movement; no response.  Finally she reached down and touched the loon's back and was able to pull it onto shore. Our hearts sank. This beautiful bird was dead." 


Although post-mortem radiographs showed no sign of ingested sinkers or jigs, the loon was extremely emaciated, and simply did not have the strength to survive the ordeal.

Special thanks go out to everyone involved in this rescue, especially Diane Laughlin, Mary Howe, Pam Green and Larry Godoin.

The second call came in on August 31 from Bow Lake in Strafford, NH.  
Bow Lake volunteer Jeannie Ferguson and her niece Rosie noticed that the remaining juvenile loon from the Caswell Cove territory was trailing fishing line and got caught up on the nest raft.  They alerted LPC and NHFG, but before those staff arrived, the chick had broken free and left the cove.  Volunteer Cheryl Mrozienski, NHFG Conservation Officer Mike Matsen, and LPC Senior Biologist John Cooley searched for the chick with a spotlight at dusk, (and as it started to rain) and located it with the adult loons outside the cove.  They were able to capture the chick, untangle several yards of line and several non-lead split shot sinkers, and release it.  Surveys of the territory over the next three days showed that the chick was diving and the adult loons were foraging for it and providing prey items.  A very happy ending!

The third report came from Governor's Island on Lake Winnipesaukee on September 2.  Gilford resident Bonnie Deutsch reported a listless loon she had discovered while kayaking.  With the help of a local boat owner, Bonnie and LPC staff were able to capture the badly-tangled loon.  Immediate care at Interlakes Animal Hospital showed that the loon had ingested a fish hook but no metal sinkers or jigs.  

Radiograph shows a large fishing hook that was ingested by the loon.  Courtesy of Interlakes Animal Hospital.

The line around the bill and tongue was removed and the loon was transferred to wildlife rehabilitators in Maine. The prompt care from Dr. Jacques at Interlakes Animal Hospital and rehabilitators at Avian Haven in Maine paid off, as another x-ray this week showed that the fishing hook had broken down enough and made its way to the gizzard.  The loon was released on September 15 in Penobscot Bay. Another happy ending indeed!

Fishing line entanglement is unfortunately a common problem for loons and other wildlife, especially in late summer, as these three incidents show.  Again, it's a good reminder to reel in around loons, retrieve discarded fishing line, and always use non-lead fishing tackle.  
We hope the rest of September is quieter!

The Loon Preservation Committee is dedicated to restoring and maintaining a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; monitoring the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and promoting a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.

Susie Burbidge
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator
Loon Preservation Committee